232 Centre Street, Vulcan, Alberta, T0L, Canada
Vulcan A.G.T. Building
Links and documents
1917/01/01 to 1917/12/31
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The A.G.T. Building is a Municipal Historic Resource consisting of a portion of two lots located at 232 Centre Street in the Town of Vulcan. The property features a single-storey, wood-frame building constructed in 1917. A country schoolhouse of similar design was relocated to the adjacent lot in July 2002. An entrance was built to join the school and the A.G.T. Building, which allows the public to conveniently view both buildings. The school and the entrance are not included in the designation.
The A.G.T. Building is valued for its association with the establishment of telephone service in Vulcan and its simple design.
Telephone service was introduced in Vulcan around 1911 when a switchboard was installed in a local store. Telephones calls were placed by ringing the operator. The caller would then ask to be connected to another subscriber's number. The provincial government began aiding in the construction of telephone networks to facilitate communication between Alberta's far-flung communities. The provincial government would later incorporate the telephone system as a Crown corporation known as Alberta Government Telephones (A.G.T.). Demand for the service grew and this building was constructed by the provincial government in 1917 to house the expanded switching equipment. The switching equipment in this building connected local subscribers to each other and to other local exchanges throughout North America through the long distance network.
The A.G.T. Building is also valued for its design. The simple, functional design provided room for the switching equipment, a front office and a residence for two operators. The building's form and massing gives the exchange a residential appearance and the design became synonymous with A.G.T. in Vulcan. Although the exchange was decommissioned in 1964, the building remains a local landmark that represents the introduction of telephone service to Vulcan.
Source: History of Vulcan Telephone, by Mae (Jarrett) McMullen for the Vulcan and District Historical Society's publication "Wheat Country" issued in 1973. Mae was one of the first two operators to work in this building in 1917.
The site's heritage value is embodied in elements that reflect the building's historic use as a telephone exchange, such as:
- original panelling in the interior;
- the plan layout showing the division of the interior rooms;
- the historic door and window trim.
The site's heritage value is embodied in elements that reflect the building's identity as a Alberta Government Telephones (A.G.T.) building, such as:
- the building's form and massing;
- the cottage-roof;
- the exposed rafter soffits;
- masonry foundation around the perimeter;
- brick chimney with parging cap in the centre of the roof;
- main street door with ornate overhead drip protection;
- oversize single pane windows with divided transom lights and double hung windows;
- original exterior horizontal wood siding, corner trim and window and door trim.
Local Governments (AB)
Historical Resources Act
Municipal Historic Resource
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Communications and Transportation
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Communications Facility
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Town of Vulcan Administration, 321 2nd Street South, P.O. Box 360, Vulcan, AB T0L 2B0
Cross-Reference to Collection